Middle East Seminar

This seminar is open to the public.

The seminar, as it has developed since its inception in 1975, has focused on the political, economic, and social conditions in the Middle East. Because of the region's rich history and its cultural and social impact throughout the world, events in the Middle East have enormous ripple effects globally. Through presentations by scholars and practitioners, the seminar seeks to analyze the impact of such factors as poverty, gender, refugees, peacemaking, institution building, economic development, and international organizations on the people, states, and regional dynamics of the Middle East (and beyond) and their contribution to social change.

This academic year, the analysis will focus on humanitarian issues facing the Middle East, including authoritarianism; the role of non-state and quasi-state actors; refugee flows and their growing permanence; the economic, social, and political implications of the demographic youth bulge; women's empowerment; the role of technology; water scarcity; and challenges of development facing rentier states. Of prime importance throughout the seminar will be the role of conflict resolution to address the violence and turmoil prevalent in the region and involving many outside actors and institutions.


Herbert C. Kelman

Faculty Associate (emeritus). Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics, Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Harvard University.

Lenore G. Martin

Associate. Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, Emmanuel College.

Sara Roy

Associate, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.

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See also: Open Seminars